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Sleeve Vent Tricks

Threads #204, Aug./Sep. 2019

Garments with beautifully sewn, classic details give you confidence every time you wear them. Sometimes, though, it’s worthwhile to streamline the construction process: Save time, reduce bulk, or simply make the sewing easier by interpreting traditional elements in a new way.
For example, I like the look of a buttoned vent on a jacket sleeve. However, if I don’t need a functional opening, I prefer to make a faux vent. This finish looks convincing but is quick to sew and adds minimal weight to the cuff. For unlined, lightweight jackets and coats, try this method. All it takes is a minor pattern adjustment.
Similarly, you can sew a shirt sleeve without the fussy cutting, stitching, and folding required for a traditional placket and cuff. Instead, choose or make a two-piece sleeve pattern and create a “placket” at the bottom of the back seam. You don’t need to slash the sleeve to apply a separate continuous lap placket (common on ladies’ blouses) or a miter placket, as on a man’s shirt. A small change to the pattern and a revised sewing sequence yield a neat opening.
These shortcuts don’t compromise the quality of the garments you create—they just make them faster to sew. You’ll spend less time at the sewing machine and more time wearing your new tops and jackets.

buttoned vent

Louise Cutting, a Threads contributing editor, is the owner of Cutting Line Designs patterns. CuttingLineDesigns.com

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